This is a guest post.
As we reported earlier this week, Fox is in the process of developing an X-Men pilot. Seemingly taking the place of a Hellfire series that the network was reportedly attempting to push out, this will mark the first time that Fox has collaborated with Marvel on television, though they’ve had success doing the same with DC Comics.
As of now we don’t have any details about when this series will be released, but based on Variety’s exclusive press release about the show and a few other factors we do have an idea of what we can expect.
Cinema Quality Storytelling
Perhaps the most important thing to understand about this forthcoming X-Men show is that Bryan Singer is on board as an executive producer (alongside head writer Matt Nix and a host of other producers). If that name doesn’t already mean something to you, take a look at his IMDB page and you’ll quickly see that he’s been involved in many of the 20th Century Fox X-Men films. Particularly with recent projects like X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse, Singer has shown an ability to create very strong content based on X-Men comics. There’s no reason to expect anything else when it’s all translated to TV, despite the fact that the format will be different. Some might dispute the idea that “cinema quality” is any better than TV quality these days, but in this case, the point is that some of the talents behind several pretty strong X-Men films are involved in the show.
A Humanized Plot (And Characters)
We know that this show will focus on two ordinary parents who discover that their children have mutant abilities. This will eventually force the family to flee from a government that persecutes (or at least endangers) mutants, and they’ll need to meet up with other X-Men to survive. We don’t know who the X-Men involved will be, or whether or not there will be any familiar characters from the recent films, but on the surface this looks to be a fairly standard X-Men plot twisted slightly for real-world appeal. The presence of “normal” parents and a family dynamic could ground the series in a way that’s suitable for TV.
A Well-Defined Image
The most remarkable thing about the X-Men films may be that they’ve had an enduring image for 16 years now. This series started with 2000’s X-Men and still has the same general visual appeal along with some of the same characters. It certainly says something that the films’ most consistent outlet for gaming, a lineup of jackpot games, still carries imagery reminiscent of some of the films from the early-2000s. Playing these games, you might see a character on a slot reel who resembles Halle Berry’s Storm character. Additionally, Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine is in several of the games. Meanwhile, X-Men: Days Of Future Past went as far as to bring back original cast members a decade after we first saw them, and Apocalypse presented young versions of those same characters. There’s an incredible amount of continuity in these films, and if anything it proves that Singer and Co. know how to develop a firm and recognizable image. Expect this show to stand out simply for how it feels or looks.
A Whole New Cast
Again, we don’t know which X-Men will be involved in the show, and as such we can’t say whether or not we’ll be seeing characters from the films. But looking at other superhero TV shows from the past several years, it seems like a safe bet that we’ll see an entirely new cast. This will likely be something of a fringe group of X-Men bringing about brand-new characters and actors and actresses who are unknown (at least in superhero circles).
Tie-Ins With Film Projects
While the cast will likely be different, we should probably expect some tie-ins with the film universe that 20th Century Fox has already built around the X-Men. Regarding shows like Agent Carter and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel Studios creative maestro Kevin Feige admitted that there will be collisions between the two mediums. It’s simply inevitable that a series of films and TV shows set in the same “world” overlap every now and then. In all likelihood, this will be the same with the X-Men show, even if it only amounts to an occasional mention of a film character’s activity in the show, or vice versa.
Hopefully the next bit of news to come out will give us a release date, or at least a season to look forward to. But no matter when it comes out, this seems like it should be a pretty exciting new show.
Pat Adams is a freelance writer, amateur filmmaker, and budding Pokémon Go enthusiast. He writes frequently about film, literature, and pop culture.